Adopted in Indonesia”

Indonesia, Land of Birther Memes

Neighborhood kidsPres­i­dent Oba­ma spent 4 years of his child­hood liv­ing in Indone­sia, from Octo­ber 1967 through Octo­ber 1971. He moved there with his moth­er, after her new hus­band, Lolo Soe­toro, an Indone­sian stu­dent who had come to Hawaii to study, returned to his home coun­try.

There’s no evi­dence Pres­i­dent Oba­ma was ever for­mal­ly adopt­ed by his step­fa­ther. Indone­sia didn’t allow chil­dren of his age to be adopt­ed. Indone­sia also didn’t allow adop­tion if it would cre­ate a dual-cit­i­zen­ship.

Even if there was any legal way for Oba­ma to be adopt­ed in Indone­sia, he would not have lost his US cit­i­zen­ship. Chil­dren can’t relin­quish their US cit­i­zen­ship with­out prov­ing to a US consulate/embassy that they under­stand the con­se­quences of their deci­sion, some­thing no 6-year-old can do. Par­ents can’t relin­quish the US cit­i­zen­ship of their chil­dren either. Oba­ma was and still is a nat­u­ral born cit­i­zen of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca.

Claim: There’s evi­dence Oba­ma was adopt­ed in Indone­sia.

The only “evi­dence” is a hand­writ­ten school reg­is­tra­tion page from the San­to Fran­siskus Assisi (Saint Fran­cis of Assisi) Catholic School in Jakar­ta, Indone­sia, that refers to Oba­ma as “Barack Soe­toro.” How­ev­er, accord­ing to school offi­cials at the Assisi School, it was cus­tom­ary for stu­dents to be enrolled with their father’s last name and reli­gion.

Claim: Obama’s moth­er lost her US cit­i­zen­ship when she mar­ried an Indone­sian.

FALSE: Stan­ley Ann Dun­ham Oba­ma mar­ried Lolo Soe­toro in Hawaii, after divorc­ing Barack Oba­ma Sr. She did not auto­mat­i­cal­ly lose her US cit­i­zen­ship when she mar­ried Soe­toro, an Indone­sian nation­al. Under the 1952 Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­i­ty Act, Title III, Chap­ter 3, Mrs. Soe­toro would have had to active­ly declare alle­giance and nat­u­ral­ize as an Indone­sian in order to lose her US cit­i­zen­ship. Accord­ing to doc­u­ments released in July 2010 under a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act request, Mrs. Soe­toro nev­er nat­u­ral­ized in anoth­er coun­try. The doc­u­ments showed that she had held and renewed US pass­ports since 1965 until 1986. There­fore, this claim is false.

Claim: Oba­ma lost his cit­i­zen­ship when his moth­er mar­ried an Indone­sian.

FALSE: Minors could not lose their US cit­i­zen­ship under the law in effect in at the time, and par­ents could not relin­quish the nat­u­ral born cit­i­zen­ship of their minor chil­dren. Under the 1952 Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­i­ty Act, Title III, Chap­ter 3,

…nation­al­i­ty shall not be lost by any per­son under this sec­tion as the result of the nat­u­ral­iza­tion of a par­ent or par­ents while such per­son is under the age of twen­ty-one years, or as the result of nat­u­ral­iza­tion obtained on behalf of a per­son under twen­ty-one years of age by a par­ent, guardian, or duly autho­rized agent, unless such per­son shall fail to enter the Unit­ed States to estab­lish a per­ma­nent res­i­dence pri­or to his twen­ty-fifth birth­day: .…”

Since Oba­ma returned to the Unit­ed States in 1971 at age 10 and has per­ma­nent­ly resid­ed in the US since then, he nev­er lost his nat­u­ral born cit­i­zen­ship under this Act. Even if his moth­er HAD renounced her cit­i­zen­ship, Oba­ma would not have lost his nat­u­ral born cit­i­zen­ship under the Act. He main­tained his birthright cit­i­zen­ship. There­fore, this claim is false.

Claim: Oba­ma could have been adopt­ed in Indone­sia.

FALSE: Dur­ing the time Oba­ma and his fam­i­ly lived in Indone­sia that coun­try didn’t allow allow adop­tions of chil­dren who were Obama’s age.

Law No. 62 of 1958, Law on the Cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia describes the laws for adopt­ing chil­dren but none of them applied to Oba­ma. To be eli­gi­ble for adop­tion, chil­dren had to be under the age of five years old. Oba­ma was 6 when he moved to Indone­sia and thus inel­i­gi­ble.

Since Lolo Soe­toro was a Mus­lim, any adop­tion would have been under Islam­ic law. Islam­ic adop­tions are unlike US adop­tions because the child doesn’t take the name of the fam­i­ly and is still con­sid­ered part of the birth fam­i­ly. The rela­tion­ship is con­sid­ered more like a fos­ter-child than a bio­log­i­cal child. Had Oba­ma been legal­ly adopt­ed by Lolo Soe­toro, his name would have remained Oba­ma. For more on this, see The Indone­sian Adop­tion “Bar­ry Soe­toro” Myth

There­fore, this claim is false.

For an in-depth dis­cus­sion of the legal aspects of Indone­sian adop­tion, see The Indone­sian Cit­i­zen­ship Myth Part I and Part II on Bad­fic­tion, and Did Oba­ma Become an Indone­sian Cit­i­zen when His Moth­er, Ann Durham, Mar­ried Lolo Soe­toro, and Moved to Indone­sia? on What’s Your Evi­dence?

Claim: For­eign stu­dents couldn’t attend schools in Indone­sia in the 1960s.

FALSE. Both cit­i­zens and for­eign­ers over eight years old were required to attend schools if they were avail­able. In addi­tion, Indone­sians were banned from alien schools, but for­eign­ers were not banned from Indone­sian schools.

Although TheFogbow.com researchers have searched exten­sive­ly, we have nev­er found any evi­dence to show that an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen child would be unable to attend an Indone­sian gov­ern­ment school. Rather, all infor­ma­tion locat­ed to date indi­cates that non-Indone­sian stu­dents were able to attend such schools.

Obama in IndonesiaBarack Oba­ma was liv­ing in Indone­sia with his moth­er and step­fa­ther from late 1967–1971.

Friends of TheFogbow.com have found an excel­lent arti­cle on the his­to­ry and state of Indone­sian pub­lic schools in 1960 from The Ele­men­tary School Jour­nal. (Avail­able for pur­chase at the link. Used under the Fair Use Doc­trine as quo­ta­tion of short pas­sages in a schol­ar­ly or tech­ni­cal work.)

Indone­sian Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion: Two Decades of Change,” by R. Mur­ray Thomas and Winarno Surach­mad. The Ele­men­tary School Jour­nal, pub­lished by The Uni­ver­si­ty of Chicago Press: Vol. 63, No.1 (Oct., 1962): pp 6–14. Arti­cle Sta­ble URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/999165

Indone­sia was a Dutch colony known as the Dutch East Indies from 1800 until the World War II, when the Japan­ese Empire occu­pied the islands. Dur­ing that era, the Dutch allowed sev­er­al types of ele­men­tary schools, depend­ing on the race and social class of the stu­dent.

In 1940, Indone­sia had 2.021 mil­lion pupils in about 18,000 ele­men­tary schools. Indone­sia had a pop­u­la­tion of about 75 mil­lion: this was a very small pro­por­tion of the eli­gi­ble chil­dren. This total also includ­ed Dutch first-class schools (for chil­dren of the col­o­niz­ers and oth­er Euro­peans), Dutch sec­ond-class schools (chil­dren of mixed Dutch-Indone­sian birth, wealthy west­ern­ized Chi­ne­se, and Indone­sians of high birth or social class.), Dutch-Native schools (chil­dren of the priv­i­leged Indone­sian social class­es), Dutch-Chi­ne­se schools (chil­dren of the priv­i­leged Chi­ne­se social class­es), and Pri­vate Mus­lim, Protes­tant, and Catholic schools. Most of the rest were native Indone­sians attend­ing small 3-year vil­lage schools.

In March 1942, the Japan­ese Empire con­quered the colony. The occu­pa­tion last­ed from March 1942 until the Japan­ese Empire sur­ren­dered in Sep­tem­ber 1945. The Japan­ese “abol­ished all west­ern-cul­ture schools, elim­i­nat­ed the Dutch lan­guage as a medi­um of instruc­tion and as a sub­ject, and estab­lished one type of school for all class­es of soci­ety.” (Thomas, page 11)

After hav­ing its edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem high­ly restrict­ed and con­trolled by out­siders in the Colo­nial Age and the Japan­ese Occu­pa­tion, the new Indone­sian Gov­ern­ment was deter­mined to take con­trol itself. The Five Prin­ci­ples known as the Pan­casi­la formed the blue­print of the new state. “… the Indone­sian lead­ers wrote a con­sti­tu­tion that com­mit­ted their rev­o­lu­tion­ary gov­ern­ment to provide every cit­i­zen a chance for an edu­ca­tion through a nation­al sys­tem of school­ing.” (Thomas, page 8)

The Indone­sia Con­sti­tu­tion of 1945 states that:

  1. Every cit­i­zen has the right to receive edu­ca­tion.
  2. Every cit­i­zen has the oblig­a­tion to under­take basic edu­ca­tion, and the gov­ern­ment has the oblig­a­tion to fund this.
  3. The gov­ern­ment shall man­age and organ­ise one sys­tem of nation­al edu­ca­tion, which shall increase the lev­el of spir­i­tu­al belief, devout­ness and moral char­ac­ter in the con­text of devel­op­ing the life of the nation and shall be reg­u­lat­ed by law.

This offi­cial com­mit­ment was fur­thered spec­i­fied in 1950 when, after achiev­ing ful­ly rec­og­nized inde­pen­dence, the Indone­sian lead­ers passed the basic edu­ca­tion law. [] The law states that all chil­dren who have reached the age of six are enti­tled to go to school and all who have reached the age of eight are com­pelled to go. The school to which the law refers is the new­ly stan­dard­ized six-year ele­men­tary school, an insti­tu­tion open to all, free of charge.” (Thomas, page 8, empha­sis added) Note: the schools were open to all – not just all Indone­sian cit­i­zens.

By 1960, there were 8 mil­lion pupils in almost 30,000 schools. Even so, an esti­mat­ed 50–60 per­cent of the school-age pop­u­la­tion were not in ele­men­tary school. Ramp­ing up a nation-wide edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem was chal­lenged by lack of teach­ers, build­ings, books, and mon­ey. “Com­pul­so­ry edu­ca­tion has been achieved in sev­er­al small dis­tricts in cen­tral and east­ern Java. But the goal set by the gov­ern­ment in 1951 to achieve uni­ver­sal ele­men­tary school­ing by 1961 was not reached.” (Thomas, page 9)

Anoth­er source describes a 1955 law imple­ment­ed in 1963. “The New Order regime con­se­quent­ly adopt­ed poli­cies to elim­i­nate the dis­tinc­tions mark­ing Chi­ne­se Indone­sians from oth­er Indone­sian cit­i­zens. It banned alien schools and urged all Chi­ne­se (cit­i­zens and non-cit­i­zens) to attend Indone­sian nation­al schools.” — “Nation­al­ism and eth­nic con­flict in Indone­sia” By Jacques Bertrand (empha­sis added). (Google Books Link)

See also: The Indone­sian Cit­i­zen­ship Myth — Part 2 and The Indone­sian Cit­i­zen­ship Myth — Part 3 (Bad Fic­tion)

Claim: His real name Bar­ry Soe­toro.

Bar­ry Soe­toro isn’t his legal name. In the mod­ern world of frac­tured fam­i­lies, kids can go by dif­fer­ent names dur­ing their lives. There is some evi­dence that he was called Bar­ry Soe­toro while in Indone­sia. Soe­toro was his step­fa­ther for a while, and it was eas­ier for the fam­i­ly to all have the same name. Infor­mal­ly chang­ing a last name to that of a step-father has always been pret­ty com­mon.

Oth­er pres­i­dents have gone by oth­er names in their youths. Leslie Lynch King, Jr (Ger­ald Ford) and William Jef­fer­son Blythe III (Bill Clin­ton) both changed their names legal­ly as adults but went by oth­er names in their child­hoods.

Claim: Bar­ry Soe­toro nev­er legal­ly changed his name to Barack Oba­ma.

Since Oba­ma nev­er legal­ly changed his name to Bar­ry Soe­toro, there was no need to legal­ly change it back to Barack Oba­ma. When he returned to Hawaii at age 11, he went to school as Bar­ry Oba­ma. Bar­ry is a nick­name.

Con­tem­po­rary pub­lic doc­u­ments, such as the 1979–80 fresh­man ‘Look­book’ pub­lished at the begin­ning of Pres­i­dent Obama’s first year at Occi­den­tal, list him as Barack Oba­ma. All of the Occi­den­tal alum­ni I have spo­ken to from that era (1979–81) who knew him, knew him as Bar­ry Obama.…To date, all of the lit­i­ga­tion filed regard­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s stu­dent records at Occi­den­tal has been reject­ed by the courts. Occi­den­tal has not released his tran­scripts or his stu­dent file.” Occi­den­tal Col­lege Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Jim Tran­quada.

Claim: Oba­ma nev­er took the Loy­al­ty oath which restored his cit­i­zen­ship.

He didn’t need to take any loy­al­ty oath because his cit­i­zen­ship was nev­er lost.

There’s no evi­dence that Oba­ma was ever adopt­ed by his step-father. Under US law, he could not have lost his cit­i­zen­ship even if he had been adopt­ed by his step-father. No loss of US cit­i­zen­ship, no need for an oath to rein­state what was nev­er lost.

Again, cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus does NOT rest on whether he was adopt­ed. Even if Indone­sian law had per­mit­ted it – AND even if under Indone­sian law, he’d then be an Indone­sian cit­i­zen – that would have ZERO affect on his US cit­i­zen­ship under US law.

Claim: Barack Oba­ma and/or his moth­er were Indone­sian cit­i­zens.

FALSE: Accord­ing to both US and Indone­sian law and pass­port records obtained via a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act Request, nei­ther Barack Oba­ma nor Stan­ley Ann Dun­ham Oba­ma Soe­toro could have nat­u­ral­ized as Indone­sian cit­i­zens. Below, we have list­ed the relevent US and Indone­sian laws, with com­men­tary.

Law No. 62 of 1958, Law on the Cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia

Date of entry into force: 1 August 1958

Arti­cle 7. (1) A for­eign wom­an mar­ried to a cit­i­zen of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia, acquires the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia, if and when she makes a state­ment as to that effect with­in 1 year after con­tract­ing said mar­riage, except in case when she acquires the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia she pos­sess­es still anoth­er nation­al­i­ty, in which case the state­ment may not be made.

This can­not apply to Barack Obama’s sit­u­a­tion, as we know, based on the recent­ly-released Pass­port appli­ca­tions, that Stan­ley main­tained her “oth­er nation­al­i­ty.” To state it anoth­er way, even if one assumes (no evi­dence of such, but… ) that she actu­al­ly “made the state­ment” required to become a cit­i­zen of Indone­sia with­in one year of her mar­riage, it would not have the effect of mak­ing her a cit­i­zen because the excep­tion applies, i.e., she still held her U.S. cit­i­zen­ship.

(2) With the excep­tion as men­tioned in para 1 the for­eign wom­an who mar­ries a cit­i­zen of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia also acquires the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia one year after the mar­riage has been con­tract­ed, if with­in that one year her hus­band does not make a state­ment as to release his cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia. Said state­ment may only be made and only results in the loss of the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia if by such a loss the hus­band does not become state­less.

Here again, this can­not apply because the same excep­tion set forth in para­graph (1) applies here. Based on Lolo Soetoro’s immi­gra­tion records, he did not release his Indone­sian cit­i­zen­ship.

How­ev­er, because Stan­ley still pos­sessed and main­tained U.S. cit­i­zen­ship (based on the recent­ly-released records) she could not become an Indone­sian cit­i­zen by mar­ry­ing Lolo, even though he did not make any state­ment releas­ing his Indone­sian cit­i­zen­ship.

(3) If one of the state­ments men­tioned in para 1 and 2 have been made, the alter­na­tive state­ment may not be made.

This para­graph is not rel­e­vant to this dis­cus­sion, but what this means is that the wom­an can not make the state­ment to become an Indone­sian cit­i­zen IF the hus­band has made a state­ment releas­ing his Indone­sian cit­i­zen­ship.

(4) The state­ments men­tioned above shall be made to the Pen­gadi­lan Negeri or the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia at the res­i­dence of the per­son mak­ing such a Arti­cle 13.

There is no evi­dence that any such state­ment was made. While some may (and do) state that’s because of some grand con­spir­a­cy to hide all records, we know that’s not true from the recent­ly-released Pass­port records which show that Stan­ley nev­er gave up her cit­i­zen­ship.

(1) Chil­dren who have not reached the age of 18 and are not mar­ried yet, who have a legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship with their father before said father has acquired the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia also acquire the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia, after they reside and are in Indone­sia. The state­ment as to their res­i­dence and being in Indone­sia is not valid for chil­dren who because their father acquires the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia becomes state­less.

Obvi­ous­ly, this para­graph can not apply because Stan­ley and Lolo were not mar­ried before Lolo became an Indone­sian cit­i­zen.

(2) The cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia acquired by a moth­er also applies to her chil­dren who have no legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship with the father, who have not reached the age of 18 and are not mar­ried yet after they have resid­ed and are in Indone­sia. …

1. This can­not apply because, as has been shown above, Stan­ley was dis­qual­i­fied from becom­ing an Indone­sian cit­i­zen because she still held U.S. cit­i­zen­ship (sup­port­ed by the Pass­port records recent­ly obtained).

2. This can­not apply because, to the extent that Stan­ley “could” have obtained Indone­sian cit­i­zen­ship by virtue of mar­riage to Lolo, then Oba­ma would have a “legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship” with the father, as Lolo would be his legal step­fa­ther.

3. Even IFIF Stan­ley had become and Indone­sian cit­i­zen because she lied about/falsified/failed to dis­close her U.S. cit­i­zen­ship, cit­i­zen­ship obtained by fraud would be reversed (as has hap­pened count­less times, both in the U.S. and else­where).

4. Even IFIF Stan­ley had become an Indone­sian cit­i­zen because, con­trary to U.S. records she did SOMEHOW release her U.S. cit­i­zen­ship, and even IFIF, under Indone­sian law, a child has no “legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship” with his step­fa­ther, and, as such, under the pro­vi­sion has no “legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship” with his step­fa­ther, and, as such, under the pro­vi­sion above, Oba­ma would be an Indone­sian cit­i­zen — (con­tin­ue to read below) – such “law” would have NO effect under U.S. Law.

US Code CHAPTER 3 – LOSS OF NATIONALITY. LOSS OF NATIONALITY BY NATIVE-BORN OR NATURALIZED CITIZEN

SEC. 349. (a) From and after the effec­tive date of this Act a per­son who is a nation­al of the Unit­ed States whether by birth or nat­u­ral­iza­tion, shall lose his nation­al­i­ty by -

(1) obtain­ing nat­u­ral­iza­tion in a for­eign state upon his own appli­ca­tion, upon an appli­ca­tion filed in his behalf by a par­ent, guardian, or duly autho­rized agent, or through the nat­u­ral­iza­tion of a par­ent hav­ing legal cus­tody of such per­son: Pro­vid­ed, That nation­al­i­ty shall not be lost by any per­son under this sec­tion as the result of the nat­u­ral­iza­tion of a par­ent or par­ents while such per­son is under the age of twen­ty-one years, or as the result of a nat­u­ral­iza­tion obtained on behalf of a per­son under twen­ty-one years of age by a par­ent, guardian, or duly autho­rized agent, unless such per­son shall fail to enter the Unit­ed States to estab­lish a per­ma­nent res­i­dence pri­or to his twen­ty-fifth birth­day;

Note: And we know fac­tu­al­ly that Oba­ma returned long before his 25th birth­day and there is noth­ing else required under the cir­cum­stances of the pro­vi­sion above.

Appli­ca­tion of treaties; excep­tions

US Code: [8 U.S.C. 1489] Noth­ing in this title shall be applied in con­tra­ven­tion of the pro­vi­sions of any treaty or con­ven­tion to which the Unit­ed States is a par­ty and which has been rat­i­fied by the Sen­ate before Decem­ber 25, 1952: Pro­vid­ed, how­ev­er, That no wom­an who was a nation­al of the Unit­ed States shall be deemed to have lost her nation­al­i­ty sole­ly by rea­son of her mar­riage to an alien on or after Sep­tem­ber 22, 1922, or to an alien racial­ly inel­i­gi­ble to cit­i­zen­ship on or after March 3, 1931, or, in the case of a wom­an who was a Unit­ed States cit­i­zen at birth, through res­i­dence abroad fol­low­ing such mar­riage, notwith­stand­ing the pro­vi­sions of any exist­ing treaty or con­ven­tion.

Stan­ley didn’t auto­mat­i­cal­ly lose her US cit­i­zen­ship upon her mar­riage to a for­eign nation­al.

Law No. 62 of 1958, Law on the Cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia

Arti­cle 13. (2) The cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia acquired by a moth­er also applies to her chil­dren who have no legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship with the father, who have not reached the age of 18 and are not mar­ried yet after they have resid­ed and are in Indone­sia. If said cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia is acquired with the nat­u­ral­iza­tion by a moth­er who has become a wid­ow because of the decease of her hus­band, the chil­dren who have a legal fam­i­ly rela­tion­ship with said hus­band, who have not reached the age of 18 and are not mar­ried yet also acquire the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia after they reside and are in Indone­sia.

This pro­vi­sion is obvi­ous­ly not rel­e­vant to the dis­cus­sion here as Stan­ley did not become a wid­ow dur­ing the mar­riage to Lolo.

State­ments as to their res­i­dence and being in Indone­sia are not valid for chil­dren who because their moth­er has acquired the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia become state­less.

Also not rel­e­vant, as even IFIF Stan­ley had become an Indone­sian cit­i­zen, Oba­ma would still be a U.S. cit­i­zen under U.S. law and, as such, would not have become “state­less.”

Arti­cle 14. (1) If the chil­dren as men­tioned in arti­cle 2 and arti­cle 13 reach the age of 21, they loose [sic] the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia again, if and when they make a state­ment as to that effect. Said state­ment shall be made with­in 1 year after the chil­dren have reached the age of 21 to the Pen­gadi­lan Negeri of Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia at their res­i­dence.

Also not rel­e­vant, as Oba­ma nev­er became, nor could he have become an Indone­sian cit­i­zen under the law set out above, so there would have been no need to do the above.

(2) The pro­vi­sion of para 1 is not applic­a­ble if said chil­dren become state­less with the loss of the cit­i­zen­ship of the Repub­lic of Indone­sia.

Oba­ma would not have become “state­less” as he still main­tained his U.S. cit­i­zen­ship.

There­fore this claim is FALSE — nei­ther Barack Oba­ma (or Bar­ry Soe­toro) or his moth­er could have been Indone­sian cit­i­zens.

Falsehoods Unchallenged Only Fester and Grow